At present, China’s economic development has entered the era of quality. As one of the core of enterprise soft connotation, it is particularly important to cultivate “Chinese craftsman spirit”. At the same time, in order to make employees better adapt to the development requirements of modern enterprises and the competitive diversified environment, more and more enterprises are implementing the mentorship system, and mentoring relationship generally exists in the organizational context. Mentoring relationship is a kind of coaching relationship between experienced and skilled employees and employees with insufficient experience and skills. Mentoring relationship has a long history in China, especially in ancient times. Now it is also an important model for enterprises to cultivate employees’ craftsman spirit.
Craftsman spirit cannot be separated from the influence of employees’ internal characteristics. Thriving at work can keep employees active and learning at work, and help individuals to make behaviors beneficial to organization and career development. The mentor provides vocational guidance and psychological support for protégés, improves the adaptation to work, balances the work and life, and improves the level of thriving at work; meanwhile, employees with thriving at work can grasp the knowledge and skills required by the post faster, be enthusiastic about the work, provide continuous energy for the work, and be more likely to stimulate craftsman spirit.
In addition, the individual’s attitude towards mentoring relationship will not only affect the extent of the mentor’s support for protégés, but also affect protégés’ own digestion of the mentor’s help. Protégés with learning goal orientation have strong willingness to learn independently. While absorbing the beneficial factors of mentoring relationship, protégés will bring positive impression to the mentor, and it is easier to get more support and help from the mentor. According to the theory of conservation of resources, individual characteristics can affect the response to resource possession. Mentoring relationship is a very important supporting condition resource in protégés’ career, which can enhance protégés’ thriving at work and accumulate more resources. On the other hand, protégés with high learning goal orientation can obtain more resources from mentoring relationship on the basis of retaining their existing resources, so as to maintain a rich resource base for craftsman spirit. Therefore, this study expects that thriving at work plays a mediator role, and learning goal orientation as an individual resource plays a moderator role in mentoring relationship and the craftsman spirit of protégés.
Based on the theory of conservation of resources in the specific Chinese situation, a mediated moderating model of mentoring relationship on craftsman spirit is constructed, with thriving at work as the mediator and learning goal orientation as the moderator. The sample consists of 584 employees in 14 enterprises, and by the model of hierarchical regression, a model is developed to examine the mediation and moderation in the relationship between mentoring relationship and protégés’ craftsman spirit. The results indicate that: （1） Mentoring relationship has a significantly positive effect on protégés’ craftsman spirit; （2） Thriving at work has a partial mediating effect between mentoring relationship and protégés’ craftsman spirit; （3） Learning goal orientation moderates the relationship between mentoring relationship and protégés’ thriving at work, specially, the relationship between mentoring relationship and protégés’ thriving at work is stronger when the learning goal orientation is high rather than low; （4） Learning goal orientation moderates the indirect effect of mentoring relationship on protégés’ craftsman spirit through thriving at work. The research reveals the significance of the inheritance of mentoring relationship, and also provides some guidance and reference for enterprises to cultivate and enhance the craftsman spirit of employees.